How to Improve your Serve
Updated: Mar 5, 2018
A strong serve can really make all the difference in helping you win matches. Small mistakes with your form and serving technique can alter your tennis game significantly.
Follow these tips to improve your serve:
1.Prepare for the Serve
Serving can make you feel nervous and under a lot of pressure. Breathe deeply in and out to help calm down your nerves and give you better focus. Develop a pre-serve ritual like an affirming phrase you tell yourself along with five cleansing breaths. If you do make a mistake, keep focusing, keep breathing, and try again.
2. Focus on your Grip
The grip you hold your racket with is a main factor in deciding the power, spin, and accuracy of your serve. A heavily preferred grip is the continental grip, in which your right knuckle is lined up with the right edge of your racket, causing your racket to become a straight line to your arm. This type of grip gives you a lot of control and power. Practicing the way you hold your racket can help you serve accurately each and every time.
3. Maintain your Form
If you frequently take time off from playing tennis, you may forget your form, which can change the
accuracy and power of your serve. Regularly practicing your serve will allow you to develop a good muscle memory of the proper form for serving. Take the time before a match to get in some practice time. Keeping your physical form in shape can also help your mental game, since a sloppy serve can throw you off.
4. Know your Style of Play
Choose a serve that works for you. There are several different styles that are popular among players such as a flat serve or a kick serve, but it is essential to develop and focus on one type. Develop one type of strong, consistent, accurate serve that you are comfortable with before trying out new things. You may worry that your serve will become predictable to your opponent, but it is better to be predictable and serve consistently well than to use several different styles poorly.
5. Practice Your Jump
Jumping for your serve adds height and force when you make contact with the ball, making it more likely that the ball will get inside the service box and more difficult for your opponent to return. Practice these sudden bursts with your serve for more power.
6. Perfect your Ball Toss
If you struggle with the consistency of your serve, it could be an issue with your ball toss. The contact point with the ball will be altered if you cannot get the ball toss in the right spot on a consistent basis. As you practice your toss, remember to relax and try to let go of the ball in a way that all of your fingers lose contact with the ball at exactly the same time. Holding the ball in a pincer grasp where the ball is not in your palm makes a big difference.
7. Condition and Practice
A strong serve requires a lot of energy and stamina. Conditioning yourself daily will allow you to play a full match without losing steam. Your serve is more likely to be inaccurate or way less powerful if you start to feel fatigue setting in. Regular tennis practice is fun and will keep your energy up to the demands of a tennis match!